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Old 29th March 2008, 02:05 PM   #1
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Question Repair of Pink Triangle Da Capo DAC

CAN ANYONE HELP ME GET MY PINK TRIANGLE DA CAPO DAC GOING AGAIN, PLEASE? The LEDs light up but no signal comes out. I'm told that John Westlake could help, please John!
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Old 30th March 2008, 04:47 AM   #2
JohnW is offline JohnW  Czech Republic
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Location: Discovery Bay, Prague, Paris...
Hi William C,

Sorry to hear about your Dacapo problems - they seem to be dropping like flyís ATM - in 90% of cases the Capacitors are leaking.

I'm currently based in HK / China about to release the next generation Dacapo & a smaller DAC unit Ė the Mephisto.

While the Dacapo is still a very good DAC, the new Mephisto is far superior - and will retail for about GBP389.

However if you still wish your Dacapo repaired then I can take a look - you will have to send to HK (I recommend only sending the PCB's so the casework cannot be damaged during shipping - and also befit from cheaper shipping costs) - or wait till I'm back in Europe for the summer break.

However I really recommend the Mephisto - that offers:-

USB to 96 KHz / 24Bits

SPDIF to 192 KHz via Optical, Coax or AES.

Balanced and Singled- Ended outputs

27 regulated supplies

Discrete Class A outputs

HQ Discrete Class A Headphone output

Very Low Phase Noise Master clock

Organic Low ESR capacitors

Remote Control & LCD display

4 layer PCB

Pls. donít feel that Iím trying to promote the Mephisto, I would probably make more money repairing your Dacapo then we would by selling a Mephisto Ė however the Mephisto is extremely good. The unit retails at such a budget price as itís sold via direct Internet sales and benefits by being manufactured in China where component cost can be an order of magnitude cheaper then can be found in US or Europe.

Time is my worst enemy!
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Old 31st March 2008, 02:06 PM   #3
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Thanks, John. That certainly sounds interesting. I'd also like to consider the Dacapo repair - I like to try to keep worthwhile things going! What's the address, please?
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Old 16th April 2008, 01:50 PM   #4
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John, or could you let me know when you're in the UK and I'll get it to you then.
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Old 17th August 2008, 02:13 PM   #5
siglov is offline siglov  United Kingdom
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Default another DaCapo bites the dust

Well me beloved 22-bit DaCapo died this morning. I can only assume it was a vicitm of the leaky capacitors reported on this forum. It was sitting there in standby when it went - tripping the mains breaker at the same time. The power transformers look fried to me - I can't see any other damange on the circuit board. Has this happened to anyone else?

Anyway - it looks like it won't be worth repairing - :-(

I have had this DaCapo for 14 years and I have loved using it. I haven't heard a CD replay system to touch it. I am really sad right now - almost inconsolable!

If anyone needs it for spares I would be interested in donating it - I'd like to know that it would live on in some way, I simply can't bring myself to bin it!

So - the big question. When will John's new "Mephisto" be ready to ship? I don't want to waste money on anything that sounds worse than the DaCapo so I am therefore very interested in what John has been saying regarding the "MkII"

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Old 17th August 2008, 02:25 PM   #6
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Hi Clive,

I've sent you a PM.


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Old 20th November 2008, 05:31 PM   #7
beatt2c is offline beatt2c  United Kingdom
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I am currently trying to repair my DaCapo & need some help / advice.

It died and after investigating I noticed that leaky caps had eaten through a couple of tracks. All now replaced with ZLHs and track repaired ~ however unit does not work.

I now have oscilloscope but need some help ~ are there any circuit diagrams / schematics available? Alternatively does anyone know what should be present at the onboard TPs?

From a quick look it seems that the output of the transistor on the right hand side of the board (mounted flush on the board and marked "8.2V on Tab") is being dragged down.

Thanks in advance for any insights
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Old 21st November 2008, 07:11 AM   #8
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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Never worked on ( or seen a DaCapo ) but working in the TV repair trade have come across countless damaged PCB's caused by everything from spillage to leaky caps.
You have to clean the board, any slight residue and it will eat into components and PCB tracks. If it has got under components they all have to be replaced. It may be to far gone anyway to be viable.
Don't be afraid to wash the PCB with a soft brush and warm water/detergent. Foam cleaner is good. Work it in well with brush and rinse properly. Place in warm < 60 deg C oven for a couple of hours.
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Old 26th November 2008, 02:35 PM   #9
beatt2c is offline beatt2c  United Kingdom
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Thank you for the tips.

I have made some progress:- now discovered that the digital side LM317T transistor with "8.2V on tag" label is running hot and showing an ~5V output that is being dragged down. The other LM317T transistor is running cold (despite large heat sink) and shows no significant output.

Without any insight into the circuit via schematic ~ my understanding is that the working LM317T is supplying the DAC, filter and shielded circuits and the non-working LM317T is supplying the input cards and circuits. So next step is to replace the heat sink LM317T and hope everything starts working again ~ if it doesn't then I'm not sure what to do next.
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Old 26th November 2008, 04:23 PM   #10
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Have you checked the capacitors on the output of the regulator that is running hot ?
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